The Tuscan city of Lucca holds a dear place in my heart. My first trips to Italy were family holidays when I was 12 and 14. We stayed near the town of Bagni de Lucca which is not far from Lucca so we spent a bit of time there. It’s a beautiful city that, in my opinion, is very underrated.
When we stayed in Florence this summer, we knew we wanted to do at least one day trip to another city nearby. Our options were Pisa, Siena, Lucca and Bologna. Our guesthouse owner recommended Lucca as its so pretty and, obviously, I was keen to revisit it as I have lots of happy memories. We ended up walking to the train station and catching the next available train to whichever was first! Luckily for me, that turned out to be Lucca!
As soon as we stepped off the train, I was glad to be back. Lucca doesn’t have any ‘big’ attractions like the leaning tower or the duomo, but that’s part of its charm! It’s just a naturally lovely place that doesn’t try too hard. Another benefit of it not having any massive tourist attractions is the lack of tourists. After spending 3 days in Florence, where we could barely move due to a ridiculous amount of people, Lucca seemed empty! It was glorious being able to freely roam the streets and not have to queue for anything!
Whenever anyone mentions Lucca, they always talk about the city walls. You must walk the city walls, which we did! The city is contained mainly within it’s city walls. The walls we see today are from the 17th century but these are no longer used as defence. The walk around the walls is 4km and is surrounded by parks, benches and beautiful views! In fact, I highly recommend you rent a bike from one of the many rental places and cycle the walls. It’s a fantastic way to spend an afternoon, enjoying a walk/cycle around the walls, take a book or a picnic and rest for a few hours.
Other places to see within Lucca include Guigini Tower, Piazza Anfiteatro, Cattedrale de San Martino, San Frediano, Torre delle Ore Clock Tower, Piazza Napoleone plus other museums and churches. Visiting Lucca was a breath of fresh air as well as being a walk down memory lane for me. It was one of my favourite days of the whole Italy trip as it was so relaxing. There was no rushing or crowds.
During our time in Italy we saw MANY ice cream shops or gelateria but the most amazing one is in Lucca! It’s worth visiting just for it! Gelatorium is amazing! As in, seriously amazing! It’s self service but you can choose whatever flavours or toppings you want! Apparently ice cream isn’t supposed to be stored in tubs so at Gelatorium you use a tap to dispense your ice cream! You can choose as many flavours, toppings and extras as you want as you pay by weight. Also, they have swings inside the shop as a seating area. Seriously cool!
Lucca is the jewel in the crown of Tuscany. It’s obviously not undiscovered or ‘off the beaten track’ but it isn’t as popular as it’s nearby relatives which makes it a fantastic place to see! It was a pleasure to come back to Lucca and reminisce. A perfect day trip and definitely a welcome relief from the hustle and bustle of Florence.
Have you been to Lucca? Where’s your favourite place in Italy?